Spotlights, Floodlights, and the Magic Number Zero: Simple Effects Tests in Moderated Regression.

Published on May 29, 2013in Journal of Marketing Research5
· DOI :10.1509/JMR.12.0420
Stephen A. Spiller10
Estimated H-index: 10
(UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles),
Gavan J. Fitzsimons45
Estimated H-index: 45
(Duke University)
+ 1 AuthorsGary H. McClelland27
Estimated H-index: 27
(CU: University of Colorado Boulder)
Abstract It is common for researchers discovering a significant interaction of a measured variable X with a manipulated variable Z to examine simple effects of Z at different levels of X. These “spotlight” tests are often misunderstood even in the simplest cases, and it appears that consumer researchers are unsure how to extend them to more complex designs. The authors explain the general principles of spotlight tests, show that they rely on familiar regression techniques, and provide a tutorial demonstrating how to apply these tests across an array of experimental designs. Rather than following the common practice of reporting spotlight tests at one standard deviation above and below the mean of X, it is recommended that when X has focal values, researchers should report spotlight tests at those focal values. When X does not have focal values, it is recommended that researchers report ranges of significance using a version of Johnson and Neyman's test the authors term a “floodlight.”
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